Phew - what an amazing day at the reservoirs.
David Bilcock deservedly discovered a RED-RUMPED SWALLOW on his second early morning walk round of Wilstone, the bird showing well amongst the hordes of newly-arrived House Martins and European Barn Swallows just off the jetty and along the hedgerow of the East Bank. It afforded good views for about a 20 minute period but was generally very difficult to pick out in the large flock of hirundines flighting low over the water in the heavy rain and freezing NE winds. About 25 birders connected during the initial showings and then a further 15 during the next 45 minutes, just before it flew off strongly east at 0932 hours. It was not seen again. It represents only the second Red-rumped Swallow ever recorded at the reservoirs following one on Wilstone on 17 May 1981 and only the NINTH in Hertfordshire (following singles at Aldbury on 11 June 1949, at Hilfield Park Reservoir on 1 October 1966, at Hilfield again on 18 May 1982, at Amwell GP on 5 April 1987, at Hilfield again on 28-29 May 2000, at Hollingson Meads, north of Harlow, on 28-29 May 2002 and at Stocker's Farm on 11 April 2007.
Next off came an OSPREY, initially picked up distantly from Wilstone (Ian Williams et al) at 1557 hours, this bird circled over Tringford Reservoir for some time at low level before drifting off east at 1612 hours - and then flew east over College Lake BBOWT at 1612 - and then yet another MARSH HARRIER - a near adult female - which was either in or above Wilstone reedbed for nearly two hours late afternoon.
And then we had the terns - 116+ Common Terns still in residence, with two passage ARCTICS (present from at least 1000-1900 hours), two BLACK (flew along the line of the Grand Union Canal before flying east) and two LITTLE TERNS (present at around 1600 hours only) - and passage waders (a total of 11 DUNLIN through, including two which lingered during the heaviest spell of rain; a WHIMBREL through, a SANDERLING through and a Ringed Plover - with 2 COMMON SANDPIPERS all day).
Other migrants included two female GREENLAND WHEATEARS and 3 YELLOW WAGTAILS on the East Bank at Wilstone mid-afternoon, with up to 9 HOBBIES still present over the reedbed.